At Buck House, a tiny Upper East Side boutique featuring a unique collection of antique furniture and art, this year’s Indian Summer came early—in May, that is! On May 12, Deborah Buck, owner and proprietor of the cozy space, hosted an Indian-inspired evening shopping event to benefit the charity Aid to Artisans, an organization which benefits artists and craftspeople throughout the world.
Guests sipped Orient Express cocktails (a delicious mixture of decaffeinated tea, mint, and vodka) and snacked on Indian-inspired treats while browsing the jewelry and textile collections of Tangerine Sky and ANDRAAB. Both are artisan brands that, as Deborah puts it, “represent a bridge from East to West” with their “bohemian, exotic, and glamorous” styles. (See photos in Snapping Around).
The boutique, an intimate space on Madison Avenue, reflects Deborah’s goal of creating a salon space in New York, one to imitate the salons of turn-of-the-century, which provided venues for writers and artists to gather and discuss the varied cultural and political topics of the day. The casual space is decorated with impeccable design and detail, and features, among the many beautiful items for sale, several comfortable couches on a lived-in rug, positioned around a low glass table to invite discussion, thought, and the sharing of new ideas. In the back of the boutique, colored curtains open up to a beautiful terrace, featuring a delicate garden crossed by two masts of a low hanging tree.
The store has been open since 2001, and features a wide range of hand-picked antiques and crafted items that reflect Deborah’s many travels, from Rome to Stockholm to Buenos Aires and Istanbul. “I only sell pieces that I would personally want to live with, not what I think would sell,” Deborah explained. “That is one of the things that I think sets Buck House apart from other galleries. Whatever is in Buck House has to inform me first, and then it becomes part of the collection.”
She continued, “I had always wanted to open a public ‘design lab,’ but wasn’t quite sure how that would manifest itself. I had been selling antiques privately and on a small scale when a small shop a half a block from my house and a half a block from my son’s school became available. I decided that if I didn’t do it then, I’d never do it and I just went for it. It was a manageable size and expense so I gave myself a year to see if it worked for me and I never looked back. It was a success immediately. Buck House challenged me tremendously, but I discovered that creating a business was one of the most satisfying creative activities that I had ever entered into.”
And as a salon, Buck House not only functions as a storefront, but also plays host to numerous events throughout the year, including book signings, charity fundraisers, fine art and furniture exhibitions, wine tastings, seminars, and poetry readings.
The space is ever-changing, and acts as a perfect setting for many events, including the Indian Summer fundraiser. But what Deborah loves most about her store is its potential for the future. As she puts it, “Buck House can be whatever I can imagine it to be. I love that it has changed and grown along with me, and that no two days, no two events, no two pieces of inventory are ever the same. Buck House is like painting; I am thinking and moving forms and colors in space at the same time but it is now in eight dimensions at the same time. And I love that Buck House is all mine and that it can’t be duplicated as a result of that.”
Buck House is located at 1318 Madison Avenue, between 93rd and 94th streets. Check out their latest inventory at buckhouse.biz. And if you have any questions, you can reach out to them at (212) 828-3123 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.